Thursday, August 28, 2008


…for God gave us a
spirit not of fear but of
power and love and

2 Timothy 1:7

Darkness terrified me as a child. Plumping my courage I would enter a dark room and shout, “Get out of here!” At bedtime my door remained open for the lighted hallway to pierce the darkness. My patient babysitter sat by my bedside until sleep visited. The weird part of this childhood experience was that in the recesses of my child’s mind I knew I had nothing to fear.

As we grow older we become aware of “legitimate” fears. But, fear is systemic and like a rash that starts in a localized area within a short period it has spread. If left untreated it soon becomes the focus of one’s existence. And “existence” is what it is because fear is a robber of life.

Given the circumstances of conflict and persecution for Timothy no wonder Paul reminds him that fear is not a gift from God. It is a character trait that God never intended for us. Instead He provides antidotes for fear—power, love and self-control. Applying them is like shouting “Get out of here!”

The power comes in not just knowing but believing that God is present, no matter the circumstances—if God is for us who can be against us! Love for others, our life, our circumstances takes shape when we allow ourselves to be enveloped in God’s loving embrace. Understanding that God has not asked us to be in “control” of anything other than what He has given us individually is the self-control antidote. Fear cannot survive when treated with this combined healing ointment.

Loving God, forgive me
for the numerous times I
allow fear to spread over my life.
It has controlled my
thoughts and my actions for too long.
I need Your antidotes
of power, love and self-control.


Artwork--Charity, Isaac Oliver, 1596-1617. Tate Collection

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